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Parents of ADHD Children

Son gets angry at the littlest things

Hi everyone, I’m new here. My son was recently diagnosed with adhd. My husband has had add for most of his life. My 8 year old son gets angry at the littlest things. We tell him “No” he will start to throw a massive fit. He will throw things, kicks things, whines, hurts himself or others. He’s being seen by a therapist and is taking 10mg. of Adderal but the anger is still very present and seems to come out more when we tell him no or ask him to pick up his mess. My husband and I are pulling our hair out on how to handle this. He’s argued with any authoritative figure, got violent at school and has been suspended twice for this type of behavior. We have tried taking things away, a behavior chart, loss of privileges, time outs nothing seems to work with him. He refuses to listen to directions and when he does when his symptoms are high, he does them half way and not properly done like they should be. He laughs at his dad and I when we ask him to do anything that he does not consider fun. We’ve even gone to get an outside source to step in at times when our frustration is too high. Any Suggestions?


My son was exactly like that at 8.  He is 10 now, and it’s a little better.  He still gets angry and frustrated.  He still hits/kicks the wall.  I too am at a loss on what to do.  We’ve been to therapists, who tell him how to find his triggers, how to resists the anger, how to calm himself down.  He knows all of it and can be tested on it, but he can’t/doesn’t use it in real life. 

The way I see it, is that it’s in his hands now.  We still take privileges away, when it gets too bad.  (like yesterday - constant disrespect to his camp counselors).  He has a skewed view of the world…I guess that’s the social cues he’s missing.

I really don’t know what to do.  It’s super depressing and frustrating.

Posted by nashholiday on Jul 15, 2014 at 2:27pm

Any chance the anger got worse after the Adderall?  My son’s behavior was affected by some of the meds we tried in the past.

Posted by brlk13 on Jul 15, 2014 at 3:16pm

No, I think the anger issue stayed the same.  The school focus and behavior was improved by Adderall.  However, he hit a plateau with Adderall and we changed to Concerta.

Posted by nashholiday on Jul 15, 2014 at 3:18pm

Read Ross Greene’s book, “The Explosive Child,”  and “How to Talk so Kids will Listen, and Listen so Kids will Talk” right away! “The Explosive Child” will teach you why your son responds this way, and how to work through it. Dr. Greene also did a webinar on parenting defiant children—listen to the archive here:

Keep a daily journal and record sleep patterns, when and what he eats, when and what he takes for medication, and any troublesome behavior and what he was doing just prior and associated time. This will help you begin to recognize triggers ( Then you can formulate strategies to stop these reactions before they reach the current level. It takes a lot of time and a lot of consistency, but you can see improvement.

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Jul 15, 2014 at 3:50pm

I agree with Penny’s advice.  He may also have ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder).  My son is similar.  He is 8, has ADHD and ODD.  Have him re-evaluated.  Therapy, meds, a good psychiatrist, and educating yourself and the school are very helpful in this situation.

Posted by Liz A on Jul 15, 2014 at 6:33pm

Occupational therapy can help with emotions and over-reactivity too. Find a pediatric OT and get an evaluation from them as well.

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Jul 16, 2014 at 2:27pm

his behavior has stayed about the same there are times when it is better than others but overall he is about the same. Penny’ advice seems like it might be helpful and I will definitely try it.

Posted by mothergonecrazy32 on Jul 17, 2014 at 8:50pm

My step-son had the same problem. Neither of his parents see the issue as being ADD, and refuse to have him evaluated.

He was much more violent starting around when he was 8 & 9. He began to have a better understanding of reward/consequence as he was around 10. At 11 1/2 the problem remains, but once he cools off, we can usually have a conversation about how he could have prevented his reaction. We also have noticed that when we see the pattern starting, it is a lot easier to correct his behavior before it blows up. I think that is more his becoming more independent more than anything.

Posted by TaraMare on Jul 18, 2014 at 3:48am

Let me add… It was a very rough few years, and I wish you and your family the best of luck that with therapy & meds it will be much better for you. Good luck!!

Posted by TaraMare on Jul 18, 2014 at 3:51am

Hi my son also has a violent tendencies like this.  His therapist suggested that instead of taking things away from him to add tasks. It has helped some.

Posted by liz mom of 2 adhd boys on Jul 18, 2014 at 5:09pm

Hello, I am new to this forum. My six year old was diagnosed with ADHD by a developmental pediatrician this past fall. The beginning of kindergarten was rough, however, after several months he settled down. He also has a speech and language impairment so he was in a kindergarten class with an inclusion teacher(45 minutes). He is not on medication and his behavior seems to be getting very aggressive he will yell out hit, kick. He is very impulsive and he often will run off when out in public. I am in the process of seeking out additional support I believe he needs behavior therapy. I am afraid of medication but at this point I am feeling that medication is only a matter of time. Does anyone have any thoughts on clonidine?

Posted by redrubby on Jul 21, 2014 at 11:06pm

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